Indian navy helicopters and emergency service boats came to the rescue of about 700 people stuck on a train caught in floods near Mumbai yesterday. The Mahalaxmi Express left Mumbai late on Friday for Kolhapur but got only 60km before it became stranded as torrential rain flooded the tracks. The authorities called in the Indian Navy and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), and helicopters and boats were deployed. An NDRF spokesman said 500 people were rescued in about two hours. The disaster response service also set up a camp near the stranded train.
An Indian Railways spokesman told the Press Trust of India news agency that a special relief train would be laid on to take passengers to their destinations. Heavy monsoon rain has battered Mumbai, forcing the cancellation of 11 flights from the financial capital's international airport yesterday while nine incoming flights were diverted to other airports. More than 250 people have died in flooding across India in the past two weeks, with Assam and Bihar states the worst hit.